Spiritual Malpractice

age of the earth, apologetics, Apostasy No Comments

Medical malpractice occurs whenever a doctor fails to provide a patient with proper medical care.  This could involve, among other things, failing to give the proper information and treatment to a patient causing physical or psychological harm or even death.  Spiritual malpractice occurs whenever a person in a spiritual leadership position gives false or misleading information in the guidance of a human soul that leads to the destruction of that soul in eternity.  With that in mind, we can confidently affirm that all false teachers are guilty of spiritual malpractice.  False doctrine cannot save.  Only the truth saves.  “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (II Tim 3:15).  “Who will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (I Tim. 2:4).  “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21).  “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).
There are many warnings in the Scriptures of false teachers and false doctrine.  Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matt. 7:15).  Paul warned the elders at Ephesus, “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them” (Acts 20:29-30).  While Timothy was at Ephesus, Paul warned him in the following words, “If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmising, Perverse disputing of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself” (I Tim. 6:3-6).  Paul actually did what he told Timothy to do, namely, withdrew from those who spoke against God, “Holding faith, and a good conscience: which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered to Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme” (I Tim. 1:19-20).  Peter also predicted, “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves  swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of” (II Pet. 2:1-2).
The Warren Christian Apologetics Center is guilty of publishing and promoting false doctrine in the book by Nobie Stone, Genesis 1 and Lessons From Space (both the 2014 and the 2017-revised edition).  This book affirms, Theistic Evolution, mitigated skepticism (a form of agnosticism) and promotes false science (the inflation theory (now falsified) used in support of the Big Bang theory).  The book violates the law of rationality by affirming self-contradictory statements such as: “…because it is rarely, if ever, possible to hold any truth with absolute certainty” (p. 18).  This statement affirms an absolute.  If Stone believes it absolutely then he contradicts himself. It amounts to saying, “I know absolutely that you cannot know anything absolutely.”   The statement is irrational.  The false teaching in this book qualifies it as another act of spiritual malpractice.  A full review of the book by Nobie Stone is posted as a PDF under the book reviews page on this blog.

Help, I’m Drowning!

idolatry, materialism No Comments

If you were drowning, would you want someone to help you?  If you were drowning in the lusts of the flesh, would you want someone to rescue you?  In many ways, we place greater value on our physical lives than we do our souls.  In I Tim. 6:9-10, Paul writes, “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.  For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
The Peril
Paul identifies a group of people who are marked by their desire for riches.  Three nouns indicate what they fall into:  temptation (enticement to sin); snare (trap of the devil who desires to bring us to condemnation before God); and lusts (many foolish and hurtful lusts (strong desire for what God forbids).  There are two words modifying lusts:  foolish (morally unwise) and hurtful (injurious and so unprofitable).  Peter states that fleshly lusts war against the soul (I Pet. 2:11).
The Penalty
Paul affirms that these lusts “drown men in destruction and perdition.”  The word destruction comes from the Greek word, olethros, which is always translated destruction and indicates the ruin of the whole being both physical and spiritual.  The word indicates the scope of the ruin:  present and eternal.  The word perdition comes from the Greek word apoleia, which means brought to ruin, loss of well-being, final and irrevocable ruin or condemnation by God.  The design of the temptation by Satan is realized–a person is condemned eternally by God.  The word drown literally means to plunge to one’s death in water or some other liquid.  Here, it is used figuratively of lusts which overwhelm and overcome the soul causing spiritual death.
The Proverb
In I Tim. 6:10, Paul states, “For the love of money is the root of all evil….”  This is a proverb which states a most emphatic truth.  The phrase, love of money, is from the Greek word philarguria which indicates a person who places his/her heart on possessing money.  Synonyms would be:  covetous, greed, and avarice.  This misplaced love would supplant love for God which must be supreme (Matt. 22:36-39).  Jesus said that no man can serve two masters (Matt. 6:24).  The god of mammon is a false god.  The love of money becomes a radical source of all types of evil.  What would people do for money?  Some would kill, steal, defraud, lie, cheat, prostitute themselves, destroy others, commit injustice (bribery), start wars, rob God, corrupt their own hearts with stinginess, and many other sins.  The root is the means of supply and support for a tree.  The love of money is the essential element involved in many types of sin.  To err is to transgress the faith (the Word of God, the gospel).  Those who love money pierce themselves through with many sorrows.  These are impaled by idolatry.  The heartache is self-inflicted.  The results are:  mental distress, grief, sorrow, guilt, and estrangement from God.  Judas Iscariot is a good example.  Judas was a thief (John 12:6).  He betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.  In doing so, he sold his soul to the devil.  Self-destruction followed the indulgence of this lust of the flesh.
True Prosperity
Paul provides the remedy in I Tim. 6:6, “Godliness with contentment is great gain.”  Godliness is piety towards God involving both a love for God and a desire to please God in all things.  Contentment involves being satisfied with God’s sufficiency for our lives.  It involves being satisfied with God’s grace.  Contentment provides the contrast to covetousness and establishes a better way to live.  The result is great gain.  The true riches of life are spiritual not material (Matt. 6:19-20).